Monday, November 26, 2012

Opal Card Roll out starting 7 Dec 2012

In what is hardly news, it has been announced that Sydney's Opal Roll out is to start shortly, on the Neutral Bay ferry from 7 December 2012.  What is news about this, is that there is to be free journeys after 8 journeys in a week - a foolish policy in my opinion, borrowed from SE Qld who also use the Cubic system.  Similarly, there is to be a fixed dollar daily cap, which means that again long distance commuters are to get an advantage over people living more sustainable lifestyles - this seems to be borrowed from WA who have a cap but their system sensibly doesn't include AM peak journeys in the cap.  Finally, there is a $2.50 daily cap for Sundays - probably borrowed from Vic.  Arguably, the latter isn't too bad as it may promote public transport use on Sundays, but it does represent farebox leakage potentially.

What hasn't been announced is that there will be an integrated fare system with Opal.  This should have been announced long ago.

Regrettably, it will take until 2015 until the system is fully rolled out.  After all this time, if the system is on time at least it will be done.

Update 28/11/2012:
It seems that an equivalent system is being rolled at on Auckland's derided public transport system.  It will be done in 2013, and is already on trains.  So it looks like Sydney will be among the last significant cities in the world to have a reasonable fare policy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cityrail Marshalls

Cityrail have introduced Marshalls on Town Hall platform 3, as detailed in
this SMH report.  This is an attempted solution to the capacity limitations on the Western and lower Northern Lines which run through this platform with limited space for intending passengers.  A lot of the problem has been and remains people trying to board impeding people trying to get off.  The reality is that Cityrail encourage this behaviour by blowing the whistle or playing the "Stand clear, doors closing" message while people are still trying to get off.  This is an unprofessional and unacceptable practice which remains to this day.  It no doubt contributes significantly to the low level of regard Cityrail is held by Sydneysiders.

This practice must end, forthwith!